How Diet Affects the Health of Your Teeth

Put good in. Get good out. It sounds so simple, but it can be so complicated to bring it about in life.

We’ve become accustomed to thinking about making better choices for our health. We know we should swap out the elevator in favor of taking the stairs for the sake of better physical fitness and heart health. We know that making better choices about our food can help cut our risk of developing diabetes and a host of other health problems. We know that what we eat matters for our health.

Still, it’s all too easy to overlook the relationship between healthy food choices and the health of your teeth—the very thing that lets you eat in the first place. The quality of your diet absolutely makes a huge difference in the quality of your oral health.


Feeding Frenzy

When you eat, you are not just feeding yourself. You are also feeding the microscopic organisms that live in your mouth. Simple organisms that they are, they prefer to feed on simple sugars and starches. If you eat a diet high in foods that are high in sugar and starches, you may notice that your teeth feel sticky or coated between meals and brushing, or you may have more complicated dental cleanings.

When the bacteria that live in your biofilm are fed abundantly, they reproduce abundantly, making more dental plaque. That coating you might notice between brushings is the overgrowth of bacteria in the oral biofilm. When not completely cleaned away, it can greatly accelerate the cavity disease process.

It’s a good idea to limit your quantities of food that have added sugar. Try eating sugary or starchy foods as a treat with meals, not something you snack away at all day.


The Tough Stuff

Did you realize that tooth enamel is one of the hardest substances in the human body? That hard quality has to come from somewhere. Minerals, particularly crystalline calcium, make up strong and healthy teeth. Calcium in your diet can provide your body with the building blocks it needs to make healthy enamel. But, in order for your body to use calcium effectively, it needs vitamin D. Luckily, dairy farms have been adding Vitamin D to milk since they figured out that it worked with the milk to optimize the body processes to use calcium. Plain yogurt, Vitamin D milk, and cheese can all be valuable weapons in your fight for a healthy mouth. Topical application of a product with calcium for your teeth may help as well


A Firm Foundation

Of course, without a healthy foundation, you can’t really have healthy teeth. Nutrient rich vegetables can help provide the nutrients that will let your gums stay pink and healthy. Fruits also have nutrients that can benefit gums, but they also tend to feed the bacteria that can damage your teeth, so it’s best to exercise restraint instead of overindulging on fruits. For help making a nutritious eating plan, the MyPlate program can be a valuable asset.


The Big Picture

Overall, it’s important to remember that what you consume is what your body can use to build and repair itself. Feed your body good foods and your body, including your teeth, will thank you by growing healthier and stronger.

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